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David Mitchell, my favourite author, releases his next novel in June. It is titled The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and American residents can win an advance copy simply by filling out a form at the Random House website. They can then mail it to me, in Australia, and I will be happy to cover postage costs! Maybe a little more too! Come on, I gave you guys many years of a high-quality online novel which I TOTALLY STILL UPDATE EVERY DAY

So, aside from minor annoyances like low battery life and certain keys that require a lot of prodding to work properly, it turns out the Asus eee PC has a MAJOR GLARING DESIGN FLAW that is causing me a lot of headaches.

The SSD harddrive has only about 12 gigs of space, which for some reason is split into multiple drives (NICE WORK ASUS!) The C drive has 3.8 gigabytes of space, which is just a bit cramped. Especially when the first Windows updates kicks in and begins rapidly filling up the entire drive with useless security updates. I was just browsing the net last night when all of a sudden the machine started whirring, and a few minutes later a bubble popped up warning me I had low harddrive space.

Googling the problem on my home computer reveals that this is apparently a widespread problem. The solution is to turn off Windows automatic updates and just never fucking update the thing. Putting aside the additional problems this raises, even after I turned the automatic updater off, the stuff it had already downloaded was still on there. I went through Add/Remove programs and got rid of all the most recent updates, but that only pulled me back up to about 650 MB of free space on the C drive.

Evidently there’s still a massive number of pointless update files lurking away in the depths of the computer, and I have no idea how to reach them or remove them. Even if I can, I’m questioning how useful a computer with only 3.8 gigs of C drive space is going to be, and I’m considering taking this back to the store and exchanging it for the 80 gig HD model. Hopefully the customer rule I have learned at Coles (complain long enough and hard enough and you’ll get what you want) also applies to expensive electronics.

I have to give a 10 minute presentation in less than forty-eight hours about “story structure, and what some long fiction writers think about when planning a work and making of decisions about form, plot and structure.”

I’ve managed to get about 30 seconds of material out of Stephen King’s ubiquitous seed metaphor that he tells to every passerby, but tracking down the opinions of other published authors on the specific matter of “story structure” is proving difficult. If you happen to know what any other authors think about the subject, be a dear and leave me a comment.

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